Tag Archives: woodland

They Don’t Make ‘Em Like They Used To

A while back – probably longer than I imagine – I posted some pictures of plastic bags in the wild. By that I mean plastic bags that had almost disapppeared beneath the debris, soil, leaflitter, etc that had been produced over the decades that the aforementioned plastic bags had lain, untended and forgotten in the woods. Well, recently, as I took a stroll along a Deer trail in another wood entirely, I stumbled across this black plastic bag, that – judging by its almost perfect and shiny condition – appeared to be a relatively new arrival…

Aware that there had been considerable and recent forestry worker activity there, I was quite disgusted that they should litter the forest so – they did, after all, leave a temporatry lavatory behind, which I didn’t approach, despite my apparent obsession with toilets. But then I paused to take in the lay of the land. The thick, almost impenetrable undergrowth that I recalled had long gone – to be replaced by a carpet of ground ivy – but I recognised my location in a second. Speaking aloud to myself, I said:

“If I find some galvanised steel grilles, this is it.”

Kicking at the ivy for maybe five seconds revealed this…

Like the plastic bag, its condition was excellent. Not a trace of rust anywhere – despite being submerged in soil and tree roots. I figured I had my litter culprit. But just to make sure I stepped back a few paces and regarded the trees closest…

Yup, there they were: the three trees that in 1974 had been mere saplings – to which my pal, Steve, and I had tied poles to form the support of a den roof. We’d also collected chicken coope grilles and used agricultural bags from a nearby farmer’s dump. But having begun the construction we were interrupted, and – being teenagers – instead of returning to complete the task, we forgot all about it, and did something else equally unimportant. Judging by the condition of those man-made den components, kids in a hundred years will still be able to finish the job for us. I’d like to think they will – assuming the wood is still there of course. And it goes to show just how well made things were in the sixties and seventies. Buy it once: never need replace it.

Photography: As in Film, So in Digital

Back in the days of my youth, I was, as now, a bit of a happy snapper. Of course then it was all Kodak Instamatics and 110 cartridge cameras. I discovered, quite quickly that there were distinctive differences in film stock. Kodak film gave a bright, colourful print. Fujifilm, conversely, was more subtle, bordering upon clinical. Of the two I favoured the more honest Fujifilm – though looking back through old photos, I wonder if those halcyon days might be better remembered in a more bright and colourful Kodak manner. As I took my daily constitutional today it came to my attention that I was carrying two cameras – made by Kodak and Fujifilm. “Hmmm,” I mused, “I wonder if, in these digital days, the old ways still hold true.” Or, to put it another way, are Kodaks still bright and cheerful, and Fujifilms all clear and sensible? The obvious way to answer my simple question was to pause my route march and take a couple of snaps. So I did. Here are the results. Which one is the Kodak; and which the Fujifilm?

Not a lot of colour here, but those greens in photo number one sure look…er…green . So, yep, judging by this test, it’s the same as it ever was. Maybe I’ll conduct a few more tests, just to make sure. After all – any excuse to show off my photos…

Photography: Sony, Time and Megapixels

It’s generally thought (or should that be, it’s thought generally?) that as time passes, and megapixel numbers increase, cameras (and therefore photograph quality) improve – particularly if those cameras are made by the same company. Well, whilst out and about on one of my country rambles recently, I discovered that the cameras that I’d selected at random just happened to be made by Sony, but two years apart. One was a 7.2 megapixel S730; the other a 12.1 megapixel S2100. The former was released in 2008: the latter in 2010. So, I surmised, the S2100 would produce better shots, and duly chose it for my first photograph. But doubt crept in when I started snapping in a wood near my home. The S2100 pictures just didn’t accurately represent what my eyes were seeing. With no options (except brightness) to change settings in the menu, I withdrew the S730 from my shirt pocket, and gave it free range.

“Was the resulting image better?” I hear you ask eloquently. Well take a look at a series of comparison shots, and you tell me. In each comparison the S730 appears in the top section…

It’s close; but next time I take a solitary camera out with me, it’ll probably be the older model.    

Photography: The Privilege of Living in the Countryside

Born into a life of country living, my rural idyll came to an end when I left the family home to make my way in the world – and headed for the city. I didn’t expect to return. Few do. But, several years ago, I managed to beat the odds and came home to the village of my birth. Naturally, as a keen camera-lugger, I stroll or cycle around the village environs and snap away merrily. But today I realised just how privileged I am to have the opportunity. As I wandered randomly through a wood close to home I realised that I was being watched by a pair of beautiful eyes…

To my surprise she allowed me to loose off a salvo of zoomed shots in her direction. I thanked her and moved on. But a couple of paces farther along the path I discovered that she wasn’t alone…

After satisfying myself that I had (at least) one shot in focus, I turned to leave her in peace – only to discover that I had over-looked another target that lay quiescent and warming in the spring morning sun closer to me…

Three hinds, all in one place, and willing to allow me to stay, amazed me. So when I turned to leave I was quadrupley (if that’s a real word) pleased that another swam into my view finder…

Then, in some silent communication, they all slowly, un-hurriedly, moved off – behind…

…the previously invisible buck. As his harem slipped silently into the surrounding foliage, he gave me a farewell glance…

…and was gone – leaving me with this little bundle of fluff and teeth…

…who, moments after this photo was taken, got herself…

…taken from behind by this randy little sod. Dirty buggers obviously. Ah, the wonders of nature.

 

Photography: Winter or Spring?

Question: Which season paints the prettier picture – Winter or Spring?

Well I guess the answer to that depends on which picture was taken during the Winter months; and which was shot in Spring? Yep, you’re right; the vagaries of English weather have turned the seasons inside out. The picture directly above originates in January: the one above it in March. So, I imagine, any preference comes down to whether you like sunshine or snow. Me – I can’t choose between them.  

Wallpaper 447: Late to Bed

I was up early enough to catch this little guy making his way home. I had to use all of my 50X zoom lens to ‘see’ through all the dead wood and bushes to get this; but as I did so, I realised that this was the first daytime badger I had ever seen in my sixty-one years on this planet. I’ll have to get up early more often.